Information for New Students

Congratulations on your acceptance to the School of International Service! We are excited that you will be joining us in the upcoming semester. On this page, you will find some information to help you prepare before you arrive. Please feel free to contact SIS Graduate Advising if you have any questions.

New students (including deferals) for fall 2021 may register for classes for fall (and summer, as applicable) beginning April 14. New students will receive detailed registration information (also linked below) via email from our office beginning in March. 

The SIS Graduate Advising office will be holding new student Advising and Registration workshops in the month of April. These workshops will include general registration information, and students will have open Q&A time with their advisors. Workshops will be held twice per week, and advance registration is required (more information below.) New students will be able to meet one-on-one with their academic advisor beginning May 10 by scheduling individual appointments.

NOTE: In order to access resources on this page, you may be prompted to log in to a Microsoft page using your AU credentials (email address and password). Please use username@american.edu not username@student.american.edu.

Fall 2021 Registration Steps

  1. Review New Student Registration Instructions
  2. Review the Advising Worksheet outlining your program requirements.  
  3. Review first semester course suggestions specific to your program and the registration instructions sent to you via email.
  4. Review the Schedule of Classes for upcoming course offerings.
  5. Plan your schedule and register via Eagle Service-Student Planning in your myAU Portal.

    New students will register for classes after continuing graduate students, so new students may find some courses have already filled. Therefore, we encourage students to register as soon as possible. Students are not required to meet with an advisor prior to registering.
  6. (Optional) Sign up for a Fall 2021 New Student Advising and Registration workshop (April 5-29). Workshops will review general registration information and students will be able to meet with their advisors for open Q&A time. Workshop registration links are available via the SIS Grad Advising welcome email and the New Student Registration Instructions (see #1 above).  

Fall 2021 Orientation

SIS is hosting a required Orientation for new graduate students for fall 2021 tentatively scheduled for the week of August 23-28.

More information, including how to RSVP, will be shared later this spring. Stay tuned!

Explore Opportunities

As you wait for first semester to begin, check out the exciting opportunities you will have during your time here at SIS. Consider options such as studying abroad, choosing a practicum as a potential capstone option in your second year, and completing rigorous skills institutes throughout your program of study. 

First Semester Course Suggestions

Full-time graduate students usually take 9 credit hours per semester, typically three, 3-credit courses. Part-time graduate students usually take 6 credit hours per semester. SIS does not typically recommend that students register for more than three classes in any semester. Please note that international students holding F or J visas must register full-time (9 credit hours in the fall/spring semesters). All students with university merit awards (scholarships and assistantships) should refer to their admissions/award letter for specific registration requirements. In order to be eligible for U.S. federal student loans, students must be registered at least half-time (5 credit hours in the fall/spring semesters; 2 credit hours in the summer).

For examples of full-time and part-time degree sequencing, you may review the Sample Degree Timelines.

First-semester students in the Comparative and Regional Studies program are encouraged to take:

  1. SIS-672 Frameworks of Comparative and Regional Studies (only offered in the fall semester)
  2. SIS-673 Comparative Political Economy (only offered in the fall semester)
  3. One of the following:
    • One regional concentration course (the list of approved regional courses for fall 2021 can be found here)
    • SIS-600 International Affairs Statistics and Methods

In order to access any linked resource, you will be prompted to log in to a Microsoft page using your AU email address and password. Please use username@american.edu not username@student.american.edu.

Melanie Brisse is the academic advisor for CRS.

First semester students in the Cross-Cultural Communication certificate program are encouraged to register for SIS-640 International Communication and SIS-642 Intercultural Relations, and to discuss further course selections with the certificate academic advisor, Jessica MacArthur.

Students in Development Management (DM) typically satisfy their core requirements in their first semesters and focus on their area of concentration and the Action Research Practicum in their final semester(s). Full-time DM students who begin in the fall semester are encouraged to take:

  1. SIS-637 International Development
  2. ECON-603 Intro to Economic Theory*
  3. One of the following:
    • SIS-636 Micropolitics of Development (if not taken in fall will be taken in spring)
    • SIS-600 International Affairs Statistics and Methods
    • A concentration course
    • An approved course in administration or management from Social Enterprise, business or public administration

*There are two required economics courses for DM students:

  1. ECON-603: Intro to Economic Theory, and
  2. SIS-731: Economic Development.

ECON-603 is waived for DM students who pass the SIS Economics Placement Exam. If ECON-603 is waived, the degree is reduced from 42 credits to 39. All DM students are required to take SIS-731 Economic Development. Visit the SIS Graduate Advising website for more information regarding the SIS Economics Placement Exam.

Mary Barton is the academic advisor for DM.

Full-time first semester students in the Ethics, Peace and Human Rights program are encouraged to take:

  1. 2-3 of the following (all fall only courses)
    • SIS-733 International Peace & Conflict Resolution Seminar I
    • SIS-622 Human Rights
    • PHIL-693 Global Ethics
  2. One of the following (if you select two of the above)
    • A “choose-one” course in Philosophy. Fall 2021 options include PHIL-682 Seminar in Ethical Theory, PHIL-685 Latin American Philosophy, PHIL-696 Trans Theory and Politics Across the Americas, RELG-673 Hinduism, RELG-676 Religion and Black Bodies of Resistance and RELG-686 Islam and Women: 6th Century-Present
    • An approved methodology course (Visit the SIS Graduate Advising website for a full list of approved methods courses)
    • A course in your concentration if you have a clear focus for your concentration. We recommend that you discuss registration decisions regarding your concentration with your academic advisor. Students will be asked to declare their concentration at the end of their second semester of enrollment.

Mary Barton is the academic advisor for EPHR.

Students in Global Environmental Policy are encouraged to focus on required core courses in their first semester. Full-time students are encouraged to take following:

  • SIS-660 Environment and Politics (offered in fall only)
  • Two of the following:
    • An approved “Choose one” core courses from the following fall options: SIS-620-001 Political Ecology of Food & Agriculture, SIS-620-002 Water Governance, SIS-620-004 China’s Economic Challenges and SIS-649 Environment and Development.
    • An economics course – When selecting an economics course, please note that all GEP students must complete SIS-652 Environmental Economics (fall only). Students must either pass the SIS Economics Placement Exam or complete ECON-603: Intro to Economics Theory prior to taking SIS-652 Environmental Economics. Visit the SIS Graduate Advising website for more information regarding the SIS Economics Placement Exam.
    • A natural science course – Available options to satisfy the natural science requirement for Fall 2021 are ENVS-500 Ecohydrology, ENVS-655 Environmental GIS and ENVS-665 Environmental Risk Assessment.
    • A research methodology course - Students without a background in statistics are encouraged to take SIS-600 Int’l Affairs Statistics and Methods as one of their methodology courses. Visit the SIS Graduate Advising website for a full list of approved methods courses
    • A Concentration course- if you have a clear focus for your concentration and there is a relevant course being offered in fall.

Mary Barton is the academic advisor for GEP.

First semester students in the Global Governance, Politics, and Security program are encouraged to take:

  1. SIS-707: History of Global Politics
  2. Either SIS-600: International Affairs Statistics and Methods or an economics course
    • When selecting an economics course, please note that all GGPS students must complete SIS-616: International Economics. SIS-616: Int’l Economics requires prior experience with micro- and macroeconomics. Students must either pass the SIS Economics Placement Exam or complete ECON-603: Intro to Economics Theory prior to taking SIS-616: Int’l Economics. Visit the SIS Graduate Advising website for more information regarding the SIS Economics Placement Exam.
  3. An approved course in your chosen concentration

Mike Rosenberger is the academic advisor for the GGPS program.

First semester students in the International Affairs Policy and Analysis (IAPA) program are encouraged to take:

  1. SIS-760: Complex Problems in International Affairs
  2. SIS-600: International Affairs Statistics and Methods
  3. A course in their intended competency track or a concentration course
    • Students can find the list of approved competency courses here: IAPA competency courses. (In order to access the list, you will be prompted to log in to a Microsoft page using your AU email address and password. Please use username@american.edu not username@student.american.edu.) Students interested in beginning their concentrations are encouraged to schedule a brief meeting with their advisor to discuss their interests.

Mike Rosenberger is the academic advisor for IAPA.

First semester students in the Intercultural and International Communication program are encouraged to take:

  1. SIS-640 International Communication
  2. SIS-642 Intercultural Relations
  3. One of the following:
    • SIS-600 International Affairs Statistics and Methods
    • An economics course**Students may choose either ECON-603: Introduction to Economic Theory or SIS-616: International Economics. IC students must pass the SIS Economics Placement Exam to waive ECON-603 as a pre-requisite to register for SIS-616. Visit the SIS Graduate Advising website for more information regarding the SIS Economics Placement Exam.
    • A gateway or concentration course within the selected field of study. When choosing a gateway or concentration course, please consult the list of suggested concentration courses for Fall 2021 and your academic advisor. 

In order to access the list of suggested concentration courses, you will be prompted to log in to a Microsoft page using your AU email address and password. Please use username@american.edu not username@student.american.edu.

Jessica MacArthur is the academic advisor for IC.

Students in International Development (ID) typically satisfy their core requirements in their first semesters and focus on their professional track and capstone requirements after completing the core. Full-time first semester students are encouraged to take:

  1. SIS-637 International Development
  2. ECON-603 Introduction to Economic Theory*
  3. One of the following:
    • SIS-636 Micropolitics of Development (if not taken in fall, will be taken in spring)
    • SIS-600 International Affairs Statistics and Methods
    • A course for their professional track

*There are two required economics courses for ID students:

  1. ECON-603: Introduction to Economic Theory, and
  2. SIS-731: Economic Development.

ECON-603 is waived for ID students who pass the SIS Economics Placement Exam. If ECON-603 is waived, the degree is reduced from 42 credits to 39. Visit the SIS Graduate Advising website for more information regarding the SIS Economics Placement Exam.

Mary Barton is the academic advisor for ID.

First semester students in the International Economics (IE) program are encouraged to take:

  1. ECON-605: Introduction to Mathematical Economics (Students must have previously taken calculus)
  2. SIS-616 International Economics or a research methods course
    • Students who have not previously taken International Economics should take SIS-616: International Economics. (This course will be applied toward the 6 credits of elective required for the degree.) SIS-616: Int’l Economics requires prior experience with micro- and macroeconomics. Students must either pass the SIS Economics Placement Exam or complete ECON-603: Intro to Economics Theory prior to taking SIS-616: Int’l Economics. Visit the SIS Graduate Advising website for more information regarding the SIS Economics Placement Exam. Students who have already taken International Economics should discuss their background with the IE program director. Students with backgrounds in International Economics should take a research methods course (Please see the IE advising worksheet for a list of approved research methods courses).
  3. SIS-751: International Political Economy

Please review the Schedule of Classes for any course prerequisites. If a course has a prerequisite, please contact your academic advisor to discuss the requirement.

Mike Rosenberger is the academic advisor for the IE program.

First semester students in the International Economic Relations program are encouraged to take:

  1. An economics course
    • When selecting an economics course, please note that all IER students must complete SIS-616: International Economics. To enroll in SIS-616, students must demonstrate prior experience with micro-and macroeconomics, either through passing the SIS Economics Placement Exam or completing ECON-603: Intro to Economics Theory. Visit the SIS Graduate Advising website for more information regarding the SIS Economics Placement Exam.
  2. SIS-751: International Political Economy
  3. One research and professional methods courseStudents with a background in statistics are encouraged to take ECON-623: Applied Econometrics I. Please see the IER program worksheet for a list of approved research and professional methods courses.

Please review the schedule of classes for course prerequisites. If a course has a prerequisite, please contact your academic advisor to discuss the requirement.

Mike Rosenberger is the academic advisor for the IER program.

First semester students in the International Economic Relations Certificate program are encouraged to discuss course selections with the certificate academic advisor, Mike Rosenberger.

First-semester students in the International Peace and Conflict Resolution program are encouraged to take:

  1. SIS-733 International Peace and Conflict Resolution Seminar I
  2. Two of the following:
    • SIS-600 International Affairs Statistics and Methods
    • An economics course** Students may choose SIS-619 Economics of Violence and Peace, ECON-603 Introduction to Economic Theory, or SIS-616 International Economics (Please note that students must pass the SIS economics placement exam in order to waive the pre-requisite for SIS-616: International Economics. Visit the SIS Graduate Advising website for more information regarding the SIS Economics Placement Exam)
    • A Gateway course associated with an IPCR concentration of interest (Please note that the Gateway courses for the concentrations in Peacebuilding and Reconciliation & Justice are not offered in the fall semester)
      •  Culture, Identity & Peace: SIS-606 Culture, Peace and Conflict Resolution: Alternatives to Violence
      • International Negotiation: SIS-611 International Negotiation
    • An approved core concentration course, if you are certain of your core concentration focus. When selecting a concentration course, please consult the list of approved courses offered in Fall 2021. A full list of all approved concentration courses is included on the back of the IPCR academic advising worksheet

In order to access the list of approved conecentration courses, you will be prompted to log in to a Microsoft page using your AU email address and password. Please use username@american.edu not username@student.american.edu.

Students pursuing a dual-degree between IPCR and the Master of Arts in Teaching or the Master of Theological Studies should consult with their academic advisor when planning their course schedule.

Jessica MacArthur is the academic advisor for IPCR.

1L JDMA students will not begin taking courses in SIS until their 2L year. 2L and 3L JDMA students should contact their academic advisor, Jessica MacArthur, for registration suggestions.

Students beginning the Master of International Service Executive degree program (MIS) in the fall semester are strongly recommended to take:

  1. SISG-775 Executive Leadership* (only offered in fall and summer): SIS Online Programs course with on-campus** immersion Friday, August 27 – Sunday, August 29
  2. One or two of the following:
    • An Economics course (Chosen from the approved economics courses on the MIS advising worksheet)
    • A Concentration course (Concentration courses may be chosen from any of the SIS graduate offerings depending upon the student’s individual interests and training needs. A list of suggested concentrations can be found on the back page of the MIS advising worksheet).
    • A Research Methods course (Approved course list is available on the SIS Graduate Advising website)

*Information regarding the Fall 2021 Executive Leadership course will follow.

** Pending public health conditions

Amy Newell is the academic advisor for MIS.

Students in the Master of International Service degree program following the International Studies Track for students from international partner institutions should register for three courses in their first semester:

  1. A Research Methods course, if required (see admissions letter for more information) or an Economics course, if required (see admissions letter for more information)
  2. Two - three concentration courses (depending on required courses listed above)
    • Concentration courses may be chosen from any of the SIS graduate offerings depending upon the student’s individual interests and training needs. A list of suggested concentrations can be found on the back page of the MIS:IST advising worksheet.

Depending upon the number of credits of Advanced Standing awarded upon admission and whether a student is required to take an economics and/or methods course, students take between 9 and 15 credit hours in the concentration, followed by a 3-credit capstone in their second semester.

Skills institutes may only be taken toward the concentration if the student will take greater than 9 credits in their concentration.

Amy Newell is the academic advisor for MIS:IST.

Students in the Natural Resources and Sustainable Development program take three required courses in the fall semester:

  1. SIS-660 Environment and Politics
  2. One of the following economics courses:
    • ECON-603 Intro to Economic Theory (For students without a background in micro- or macroeconomics)
    • SIS-652 Introduction to Environmental Economics (Students must pass the SIS Economics Placement Exam in order to register for SIS-652 Environmental Economics. Visit the SIS Graduate Advising website for more information regarding the SIS Economics Placement Exam.)
  3. One of the following core courses:
    • SIS-620 Water Governance
    • SIS-620 Political Ecology of Food & Agriculture
    • SIS-620 China’s Environment Challenges
    • SIS-649 Environment and Development
    • SIS-637 International Development

Marley Crutcher is the academic advisor for NRSD.

First-semester students in the Peacebuilding certificate program are encouraged to register for SIS-733 International Peace and Conflict Resolution Seminar I, and to discuss further course selections with the certificate academic advisor, Jessica MacArthur.

First-semester students in the United States Foreign Policy and National Security program are encouraged to take:

  1. One of either SIS-682 Foreign Policy: Institutions and Processes or SIS-689 Foreign Policy: Theories of Decision Making (Students will take the course they do not take in fall in the spring 2022 semester.)
  2. SIS-653 Continuity and Change in USFP
  3. One of the following:
    • A USFP “Choose Two” course (The approved USFP “Choose Two” courses for fall 2021 are: SIS-653 Nuclear Weapons: Politics and Proliferation; SIS-653 Public Diplomacy; SIS-653 Technology and National Security; SIS-681 Intelligence and Foreign Policy and/or one of the following approved courses on USFP toward a region: SIS-653 USFP Toward the Middle East; SIS-653 US-Russia Relations Post-Cold War)
    • SIS-600 International Affairs Statistics and Methods
    • An economics course (see below)

When selecting an economics course, please note that all USFP students must complete SIS-616 International Economics, SIS-652 Intro to Environmental Economics, or SIS-731 Economic Development. Students without a background in economics are required to take ECON-603 Introduction to Economic Theory before taking SIS-616, SIS-652, or SIS-731. ECON-603 will be waived for students who pass the SIS Economics Placement Exam. Visit the SIS Graduate Advising website for more information regarding the SIS Economics Placement Exam.

Melanie Brisse is the academic advisor for USFP.